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.45 Ammo Comparison

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Famine, Aug 20, 2007.

  1. Famine

    Famine New Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Maybe this isn’t new news to some of you, but I found some interesting results from firing different .45 JHP rounds at the range the other day through a Glock 21.

    Winchester Supreme 230 gr. SXT = $17.99/per 20
    Federal Premium Low Recoil Hydra-Shok165 gr. = $23.99/per 20
    Hornady +P 230 gr. = $15.99/per 20

    The first…”quandary,” as I’ll call it, is that the Hornady +P has a slower muzzle and 50 yd. velocity than the Federal Low Recoil. I found that to be odd. Maybe someone can explain that to me because I thought +P means higher velocity, and when compared to a 165 gr. round, I’m not sure why.

    The next thing that surprised me was that the recoil between these three rounds and 230 gr. FMJ target rounds (also used during the comparison) all seemed the same. I don’t know what I was expecting from the 165 gr…maybe for it to kick like a 9mm, but it didn’t happen. The 165 gr. seemed to kick just as hard as all three 230 gr. (not that the kick was severe in the first place).

    Now, if I wasn’t at an indoor range, I would have loved to shoot different materials to see the effects of each round. Maybe some other day.

    So after “wasting” 3 mags of JHP ammo, I’ve come to these conclusions. #1 There doesn’t seem to be any point to buying 165 gr. for the purposes of reduced recoil, at least if it is shot out of a Glock. #2 I don’t see why I would buy any more +P either. #3 I don’t see myself stocking up on expensive JHP that cost more than $18/per 20. The way I see it, I probably don’t need more than 26 rounds total (two mags worth).
  2. mavracer

    mavracer Senior Member

    Jan 9, 2007
    first the +p 230 are slower because +p wont make up the 70 grain difference in bullet weight.
    second the winchester load is a good one.here is a link they have it in LE 50 round boxes for ~$25
  3. strat81

    strat81 Senior Member

    Oct 6, 2006
    In +P, the P stands for pressure, not speed, velocity, or grape jelly.

    As such, comparing the velocity of a 165gr bullet versus a 230gr bullet is like comparing apples to oranges. How did the Hornady velocity compare to the Winchester? What chrono were you using?
  4. geekWithA.45

    geekWithA.45 Moderator Emeritus

    Jan 1, 2003
    SouthEast PA
    In selecting defensive ammo, you're trying to find the optimum balance of:

    *reliable feeding, discharging, and ejecting IN YOUR GUN.
    *the heaviest load at an adequate velocity that:
    * reliably expands (or does whatever additional wounding mechanism the round has, if any) and
    * penetrates to an adequate depth in a target (generally considered 12 inches, minimum)

    Muzzle velocity is a function of the energy available in the propellant (roughly indicated by +p or normal, the mass of the bullet, and the length of the barrel.

    Most .45 loads are quoted w/ 5" barrels. Shorter barrels lose, by rule of thumb, about 50 fps per inch.

    So, if you have a 4" barrel like mine, it makes sense to sacrifice some mass to keep the velocity up. (I like 200 grains, 185 is my low limit, 165 is too light, IMO, based on various reports of penetration problems)

    All other things being equal, recoil is a function of the mass of the bullet.
  5. Famine

    Famine New Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    I know P stands for pressure...I thought that "pressure" carried over into a higher velocity. If not, then I guess I don't understand the point to +P because both the +P Horady and the Winchester were 230 gr.

    I suppose my main point, or finding, was that the low recoil produced the same recoil as all of the 230 gr. This little expierence tells me that the use of low recoil for the purpose of getting back on target quicker doesn't seem to hold water...from my limited demo.
  6. timothy75

    timothy75 Member

    Apr 18, 2005
    Your right, most people go lighter to keep velocity up in shorter barrels or to restrict penetration. 180's feel the same as 240's in a 44mag also. To get back on target faster you'd want non +p's. You mention the validity of +p all together but if you chrono +p's against non +p's in the same weight same brand the +p should be faster. Good luck

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